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LHH Power Rankings Oct. 29 - Who Are The Islanders?

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Most major publications are high on the Isles. Our own commentarriat is mixed. And the objective power rankings? Not impressed, thus far.

Boychuk + Grabovski = Kulemin
Boychuk + Grabovski = Kulemin
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

As of October 29th, the Isles are a first-place team. Even with Tuesday's home debacle against the Jets (yes, we are now calling one-goal losses "debacles"), they are a point up on the Pens (albeit with one more game played). Most sports experts are suddenly in love with them, but our own power rankings put them far lower overall.

More on that in a moment. First, feel the love...

Weekly Round-Up of Opinion-ish Polls

Well, most are based on opinion, but TSN uses player stats, and the Washington Post (courtesy of Neil Greenberg) relies entirely on two team stats.

Site Updated New Ranking Prior Ranking Comments
CBS 10/28/2014 5 6 No team has scored more goals than the Isles' 32 in just eight games. It's probably not sustainable, but who cares? This team is one of the most exciting to watch in the league at this moment.
ESPN 10/27/2014 4 4 The Isles have shaken off a mini-slump with two straight wins. Brock Nelson continues to impress, with 10 points in eight games.
TSN 10/27/2014 8 7 He's still looking for his first goal, but RW Ryan Strome has put up seven points in eight games and the points have all come during 5-on-5 play. In fact, according to Puckalytics.com, Strome's points/60 of 4.82 ranks sixth, behind Rick Nash (5.78), Mikhail Grabovski (5.74), Tyler Toffoli (5.65), Jeff Carter (5.64) and Tanner Pearson (5.56).
Fox 10/23/2014 16 13 Center John Tavares could be in for a monster season with puck-moving defensemen Johnny Boychuk and Nick Leddy added to the mix. Tavares was tied for the NHL lead in points (10) entering Wednesday's games.
USA Today --- --- 6 Not updated this week.
WaPo 10/27/2014 7 6 No comments.
Average 8 7 Everything looks great and they play the Jets next. What could possibly go wrong?

Ah yes, what could go wrong, other than a craptastic performance by our goalie (stop me if you've heard that one before)? To do our best to compare apples to apples, the LHH power rankings are calculated only through 10/27/14, and therefore does not include last night's loss.

LHH Power Rankings

GP Reg W OT W SO OT L Reg L LHH Pts LHH Rating
1 Pittsburgh Penguins 7 4 0 0 1 2 26 145
2 San Jose Sharks 10 4 0 2 0 4 30 130
3 Dallas Stars 8 3 0 2 1 2 26 125
4 Nashville Predators 8 4 0 2 1 1 32 119
5 New Jersey Devils 8 3 1 1 1 2 27 116
6 Vancouver Canucks 8 4 0 1 0 3 27 115
7 Washington Capitals 8 3 0 3 0 2 27 115
8 Philadelphia Flyers 8 2 1 2 0 3 22 115
9 Anaheim Ducks 9 6 0 1 0 2 39 114
10 Tampa Bay Lightning 9 3 2 1 0 3 29 112
11 Los Angeles Kings 8 5 0 1 1 1 35 111
12 St. Louis Blues 7 3 0 1 0 3 21 111
13 Montreal Canadiens 9 4 1 2 0 2 34 107
14 Chicago Blackhawks 8 3 1 1 1 2 27 104
15 Minnesota Wild 7 4 0 0 0 3 24 102
16 Detroit Red Wings 8 2 2 1 1 2 25 101
17 Arizona Coyotes 7 1 2 1 0 3 17 101
18 Ottawa Senators 7 3 0 1 1 2 23 100
19 New York Islanders 8 5 0 1 0 2 33 99
20 Edmonton Oilers 9 4 0 1 0 4 27 98
21 New York Rangers 9 3 1 1 0 4 25 98
22 Toronto Maple Leafs 8 2 1 0 1 4 18 95
23 Columbus Blue Jackets 8 4 0 0 0 4 24 91
24 Calgary Flames 10 3 1 1 1 4 27 91
25 Boston Bruins 10 4 0 1 0 5 27 82
26 Colorado Avalanche 9 2 0 0 3 4 18 75
27 Florida Panthers 7 1 1 1 2 2 17 70
28 Winnipeg Jets 8 2 1 0 0 5 16 60
29 Buffalo Sabres 9 1 0 1 0 7 9 53
30 Carolina Hurricanes 7 0 0 2 0 5 6 45

Key:

LHH Points: Regulation wins are 6 points, OT wins are 4, Shootouts are 3, OT losses are 2, and regulation losses are 0

LHH Rating: Adds a multiple to opponents winning percentages (depending on the result) together, and divides by the number of games played. "Normalized" so that 100 would be average.

The 19th place surprised even me, I'll be honest. But first of all, at a rating of 99, the Isles are practically right at the average, despite being a few places below that. Second of all, look at who the Isles have defeated... The Canes (twice) don't have a regulation or even an OT win yet. The Bruins are 25th. The Rangers are 21st. They beat the Sharks (2nd overall), but in a shootout, which is treated as a tie in our system (so in effect, they only get what you might call "half credit").

This is as good a time as any to do my yearly reminder that the power rankings are merely a way of measuring a team with respect to all other teams. The Isles can't be blamed for playing mostly bad opponents so far this year, but the rankings won't give them much credit until they play and beat teams that are good. If, say, Boston was to go on a winning streak, then that victory over the Bruins would boost the Isles some. But for now, the Isles are not viewed positively by the cold, hard calculations.

This is also a good time to mention that the rankings are also not a predictor of how a team will play going forwards. If the Isles played, for example, the 15th ranked Minnesota Wild tomorrow, the rankings don't necessarily suggest that the Isles would be the underdog; just that the Wild has had more opportunities against better clubs, and took some points from those encounters.

So don't read anything into the 19th place position. Worry if they're still there after the west coast trip.